Home > Uncategorized > The basics of health and eCommunication

The basics of health and eCommunication

Being in the Health Communication program, I’m always looking for ways to tie health issues into elective courses I may be taking in other departments. Although most posts on this blog seem to be strictly marketing/advertising related, the healthcare industry is starting to make big strides in the world of social media. This article on Mashable.com gives the basics on why increasing numbers of health experts are turning to social media, and what that means for us as patients and consumers.

These days, approximately 90% online Americans are searching the Internet for health information, yet it’s taken this particular industry a long time to embrace the possibilities of social media and eCommunication. Presumably this is largely due to privacy issues, and the long-standing tradition of healthcare professionals being these “all-knowing” people; communication in healthcare has traditionally been a one-way, top-down process.

More recently, however, healthcare practitioners are beginning to understand that if their patients are looking online for health information, they – as the professionals – should be online too. Many are lending their knowledge and expertise to sites like Facebook and Twitter, blogging, and contributing to health forums. Not to mention the thousands of hospitals, non-profits, and other healthcare organizations worldwide that are utilizing these social media tools as well…but that’s best saved for another post.

So – what does this mean for us as patients and social media users?

(1) Increased interaction with experts

(2) Increased credibility and trust of healthcare professionals

(3) Transparency in the healthcare industry

The health field is only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media and eCommunication. Stay tuned for future interactive eHealth communication news!

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